Spoon —"The Underdog"
From Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga on Merge
With a history of stellar, no-filler records, Spoon has somehow topped themselves with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, a consistently thrilling album recorded throughout 2006 in Austin by the band and Mike McCarthy (except “The Underdog,” recorded in Los Angeles with Jon Brion). Spoon have been together over a decade, with one of the most unusual trajectories of any band in recent memory-and one of the best and most unique songwriters in the world.
The Blow —"Hock It"
From Poor Aim: Love Songs on K
Khaela Maricich is a pop musician, visual artist, and performer. She works in the cracks between pop music and performance art, bouncing between the genres to suck out the juicier parts of either world. She creates operatic performance pieces using the conversational style of popular music. Jona Bechtolt is a technological multi talent. His sound and video production can be found generously scattered throughout the internet, and in numerous popular live incarnations. With his project, YACHT, he makes textural dance-based compositions and performances, described by some as a “positive energy rainbow dome music from a next-generation west coast healer.”
The Chemical Brothers —"All Rights Reserved"
From We Are The Night on Astralwerks
After five albums, we know what to expect from a Chemical Brothers record. And Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons know how best to make them. “We’ve very much found our way of working,” says Tom. “And that’s having our own studio and experimenting for months and months, then collaborating with people when we have something that excites us. We still get a lot of enjoyment out of going into the studio. We still see it as a wondrous place where something magical can happen.”
Tied + Tickled Trio —"Aelita"
From Aelita on Morr Music
On Aelita the Tied & Tickled Trio are Caspar Brandner, Andreas Gerth, Markus and Micha Acher and Carl Oesterhelt. A band that listens very carefully to what their sounds do. A band that permits them to be surprised by themselves. This might be the very last space-metaphor of this album: the Tied & Tickled Trio and the orbit of its possibilities.
Bad Brains —"Give Thanks And Praises"
From Build a Nation on Megaforce
Mention the name Bad Brains to anyone today and you will likely get an eye-opening and overwhelmingly positive response. Considered by some to be the “holy grail” of punk rock, Bad Brains have a pure and quintessential attitude that most artists only aspire to achieve—they are simply one of the most important and influential American bands still working today. Like all great bands, light bulbs go off and charisma enters a room just by the band merely standing in it. For the Bad Brains, they go one step further and supply the electricity to charisma. Sometimes reactionary, but always volatile, Bad Brains are one of the definitive punk groups who garner the same respect as the Sex Pistols, Black Flag, The Clash and The Ramones.